Combined systems consisting of linear structures carrying lumped attachments have received considerable attention over the years. In this paper, the assumed modes method is first used to formulate the governing equations of the combined system, and the corresponding generalized eigenvalue problem is then manipulated into a frequency equation. As the number of modes used in the assumed modes method increases, the approximate eigenvalues converge to the exact solutions. Interestingly, under certain conditions, as the number of component modes goes to infinity, the infinite sum term in the frequency equation can be reduced to a finite sum using digamma function. The conditions that must be met in order to reduce an infinite sum to a finite sum are specified, and the closed-form expressions for the infinite sum are derived for certain linear structures. Knowing these expressions allows one to easily formulate the exact frequency equations of various combined systems, including a uniform fixed–fixed or fixed-free rod carrying lumped translational elements, a simply supported beam carrying any combination of lumped translational and torsional attachments, or a cantilever beam carrying lumped translational and/or torsional elements at the beam's tip. The scheme developed in this paper is easy to implement and simple to code. More importantly, numerical experiments show that the eigenvalues obtained using the proposed method match those found by solving a boundary value problem.

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